Michael Lee Lockhart

“I had to go out and get me one.”

Sixteen-year-old Windy Gallagher of Griffith, Indiana wrote in her journal that October 13, 1987 would be a “no worries day.” Around six-thirty that evening, her older sister Christine came home, warmed up some pizza, and watched a little television. She assumed her sister was asleep in the room they shared (Shnay). When she went into the room, she found Windy’s body on a bed. Her hands were tied behind her back. She was naked from the waist down, and her bra was pulled up over her breasts. She had been stabbed twenty-one times; her intestines were pulled from her body. The apartment showed no evidence of forcible entry.

Three months later, eight-year-old Jeremy Colhouer of Land-o-Lakes, Florida, returned from an outing with his father and young sister. He went to his room to get his shin-guards for soccer practice and found the partially nude body of his fourteen-year-old sister, Jennifer, raped, strangled, and disemboweled. She still wore her socks and sneakers. Her hands were bound. The house showed no evidence of forcible entry.

On the afternoon of March 22, 1988, Beaumont, Texas police officer Paul Hulsey, Jr. spotted a known drug dealer riding in a red Corvette driven by an unknown man. He attempted to follow, but the driver of the Corvette sped away. Hulsey later located the Corvette in the parking lot of a Best Western Motel. When he attempted to question the car’s owner, Hulsey was shot dead. The Corvette and its driver escaped.

After ditching the Corvette, Michael Lee Lockhart paid a cab driver $100 to take him to Houston. When the police pulled the cab over, fifty miles outside of Beaumont, he reportedly told the driver, “Oh, well. I guess I’m going to jail now.” (Michael Lee Lockhart #430)

When first arrested, Lockhart was cooperative and freely admitted shooting Husley. He did not, however, accept responsibility. It was Husley’s own fault, he claimed, for coming into the hotel room without a back-up. A day later, Lockhart turned angry and combative and refused to cooperate further with police. He’d seen a newspaper article in which the police referred to him as a drug dealer and was deeply insulted. (Morrison, 206-207)

After his Texas arrest, bloody handprints, DNA evidence, and suspect sketches linked Lockhart to the murders in Griffith and Land-o-Lakes. In November 1987, almost midway between the murders of Gallagher and Colhouer, Lockhart visited his ex-wife. For two days, he kept her bound and gagged and repeatedly raped her.

Lockhart was known for good looks and charm. The assistant principal of his former high school called him “a born salesman.” A friend from his teenage years said, “He could B.S. his way out of anything.” (Ramsdell and Torry) According to Lockhart, he could also B.S. his way into anything. He convinced Windy Gallagher to let him into her home to make a phone call. She gave him a glass of water. He told Jennifer Colhouer he was a real estate agent—there was an empty house a few doors away—and needed to use a phone. “I still can’t believe how easy it was. I could pretty much pick up anyone off the street, and they would follow me anywhere like a little puppy dog,” he told psychiatrist Helen Morrison. (Morrison, 202-211)

When asked by Morrison to describe the day leading up to Colhouer’s murders, Lockhart described it as an average day. He woke up late and took a shower. “I was in the shower washing up,” he said. “And then it hit me. I had to go out and get me one.” (212) He later told others that on the morning of Gallagher’s murder he woke up depressed and suicidal, “and if I was going to die, then I was going to kill somebody too.” (Michael Lee Lockhart #430)

Early reports described Lockhart, the ninth of ten children, as the “model All-American boy” (Ramsdell and Torry) and his family life as happy. Later, a sister testified he was a “sweet” child, who “never did anything wrong,” while a brother testified that Lockhart often witnessed fights and abuse between their parents (Fox). Morrison states there is no evidence of sexual abuse in Lockhart’s childhood (209). A psychologist testifying for the defense at his Texas trial said Lockhart was molested by a family friend at the age of five or six and the victim of incest between the ages of nine and twelve (Michael Lee Lockhart #430; Haines).

Lockhart received the death penalty in Texas, Florida, and Indiana for the murders of Hulsey, Colhouer, and Gallagher. Authorities credit him with at least three more murders of teenage girls and consider him a possible suspect in more. Lockhart claimed to have committed over two-dozen murders. He later changed his story, accepting responsibility for only the three killings for which he was convicted.

While reading about Lockhart and his teenaged victims, I was reminded of the Joyce Carol Oates story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” first published in 1966, two decades before Lockhart killed Gallagher and Colhouer. If Lockhart is to be believed, he had a much easier time convincing his victims to open the door than Arnold Friend did, but the images of Friend with his gold car and Lockhart with his red Corvette, as archetypes of evil, seducing young girls through a screen door remains and horrifies.

On December 9, 1997, Michael Lee Lockhart was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of Officer Hulsey. His last meal was the All-American double-cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke.

Works Cited

Fox, Kym. “Lockhart had bad childhood, relatives claim.” Toledo Blade 20 Oct. 1988: 21. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Haines, Renee. “Defendant abused as boy, witness says.” Houston Chronicle 10 Oct. 1988: A13. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Michael Lee Lockhart #430.” Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Morrison, Helen, and Harold Goldberg. My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World’s Most Notorious Murderers. New York: Harper Collins, 2004. Print.

Ramsdell, Melissa, and Jack Torry. “Saga of Wallbridge’s Michael Lockhart: Did ‘all-American boy’ become a killer?Toledo Blade 26 June 1988: A1, A4. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Shnay, Jerry. “Girl Tells Of Finding Body Of Slain Sister.” Chicago Tribune 15 June 1989: n.pag. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Other Resources

Associated Press. “Policeman’s killer given death penalty.” Houston Chronicle 26 Oct. 1988: A17. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Goffard, Christoper. “In the name of his sister.” St. Petersburg Times 23 Jan. 2000: n.pag. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Graczyk, Michael. “Inmate with death sentences in three states put to death.” Abilene Reporter-News. Associated Press, 10 Dec. 1997. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Michael Lee LOCKHART.” Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Sullivan, Erin. “Family suffers another loss.” St. Petersburg Times 27 July 2007: 1. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

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  One thought on “Michael Lee Lockhart

  1. November 16, 2012 at 3:20 am

    In our society, we’re too obsessed with looks and charm. In the world of dating, these traits are the two most important things people are looking for–even if they claim to be looking for other elements of a relationship. Of course, most of these relationships fall apart because daters realize that looks and charm can only hold a relationship together for a short time. It’s not surprising Lockhart’s good looks and charm could get him basically anything he wanted, including victims, but I have to wonder at what point will evaluation kick in so that people see a good-looking face and a charismatic smile and then worry. We have fears of the dark, of loud sounds, and of heights for reasons–they can lead to injury–so will we ever learn to be unsettled by good looks and charm? Probably not.

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    • November 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      I like Ryan’s response. Also, that is why you don’t go in without backup.

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      • November 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        I dunno, man. Looks and charm go a long way in the world but they don’t automatically tie into maliciousness. I think there’s a fine line between persuasion and manipulation and you can tell the difference after the fact, when the person charmed/manipulated feels either satisfied or used.

        I really like the psycho you picked Patricia. There are a lot of hooks for characterization and he’d make a good story. I’m curious as to what your thoughts on him are. Why did you pick him?

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        • November 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

          I agree that looks and charm are given too much weight as an indicator of character, But, automatically associating them with maliciousness is just as bad—and useless—as the opposite. And remember, Lockhart’s victims were teenage girls.

          Joe: Great point on the fine line between persuasion and manipulation. The biggest reason I chose Lockhart was because of the little things—those hooks for characterization. They made him more interesting than his crimes alone. He remained a manipulative psychopath until the end. Even his apology to his victims families sounded to me like more charm and manipulation. Although I ended up leaving it out of the blog post, the St. Petersburg newspaper followed up on the Colhouer family and the long term affects of Jennifer’s murder. In other words, there were so many human details available on Lockhart and his affect on the world that he interested me more than than the more famous psychos.

          Also, he really did make me think of the Oates story, which I love. All of the literary analysis aside, it’s one creepy-assed story.

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          • LOLHS Girl
            January 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm

            Well let me say long term effects are key … This man didn’t just murder an innocent teen, he destroyed the world around her. He took the innocence away from all of us surrounding her as well. Also Jen was murdered during the week, it wasn’t an “outing” the father and son were on. They returned home to find her, simple as that. Her sister struggled her whole life with this memory… In the end being a very troubled teen, and eventually dying as well in a fire (that appeared to be self ingnighted). Jeremy is a cop now. But nothing can give us back what all of us loss that day almost 27 years ago (20th).

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  2. November 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Chilling.
    “He’d seen a newspaper article in which the police referred to him as a drug dealer and was deeply insulted. ” Wow! Seriously! That’s just crazy on top of everything else he did. I find it interesting, as I’ve read about killers for this class, how many claim a certain number of murders and then recant that. Why? Interesting post and comparison to fiction as well. And I agree, we’re never afraid of the good looking ones.

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    • November 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      In Lockhart’s case, I think the recantation was because he didn’t want to die. He liked prison life, and had no problem with the idea of spending the rest of his life there, but didn’t think he deserved to die. I’d think it would be hard to appeal a death sentence when you’re bragging about all the murders you weren’t caught for.

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      • LOLHS Girl
        January 13, 2015 at 12:41 pm

        He didn’t recant … He never provided evidence except him saying I killed such and such.

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  3. Josie Dubois
    November 8, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Why do all the articles and even your telling of the story so casually glaze over the part where he raped his ex-wife in the same manner as the victims he killed. She is the only living victim and you write here that he held her captive for two days? Have people tried to get her story? She knew him and is merely mentioned as a side note. Did she tell her story? Must not have testified…

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    • LOLHS Girl
      January 13, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      She was at Jen’s trial in live feed from Ohio. She was purely a character witness. Also he was never convicted of her rape, it only came out after he was caught.

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  4. February 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I grew up with Mike Lockhart. I lived in Millbury Ohio and he lived in Walbridge, but we both went to Lake School. His dark eyes, long eyelashes and boyish charm made me blush every time he looked my way in study hall where I had a crush on him. He was short back then, quiet, funny and basically a good kid. I never thought of him as a bad kid, or one who had a troubled childhood, but who knows what goes on behind closed doors. My heart aches for him, his family, and all the lives he destroyed. I sincerely hope he found peace in Christ and I hope to see him again in heaven.

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